Monday, June 02, 2008
The Vatican has denounced a group who claim to have seen the Virgin Mary more than 40,000 times in the past 27 years. ...
But now one of the most respected voices in the Roman Catholic church has accused the visionaries of perpetuating a 'diabolical deceit'.
Andrea Gemma, 77, a bishop and once the Vatican's top exorcist, told a magazine in Italy: 'In Medjugorje everything happens in function of money: Pilgrimages, lodging houses, sale of trinkets.
'This whole sham is the work of the Devil. It is a scandal.' He said the Vatican would soon crack down on the group.
Read the article...
Michael Brown has responded to this story on Medjugorje. He points out that one exorcist opposes another.
The London report was in the Daily Mail, which started with the words, "The Vatican has denounced a group who claim to have seen the Virgin Mary more than 40,000 times in the past 27 years."
It quoted Andrea Gemma, a bishop and once a "Vatican exorcist," as telling a magazine in Italy that "This whole sham is the work of the devil. It is a scandal." He reportedly said the Vatican "would soon crack down on the group." Many criticize the commercialization of Medjugorje, where shops are now built up in the same way as Fatima and Lourdes.
That report flies in the face of statements by famed Rome exorcist Father Amorth, who during his stay at Medjugorje in July 2002 gave an interview to a priest in which he said that "Medjugorje is a fortress against Satan. Satan hates Medjugorje because it is a place of conversion, of prayer, of transformation of life. ...
So we see an apparent divergence of opinion -- even among prominent exorcists, if the quotes from Bishop Gemma (thus far unconfirmed) are accurate.
The problem is that they are in a sensationalist English newspaper that focuses on celebrities with salacious photographs in a way mindful of supermarket tabloids in America.
Does he have inside knowledge? Will the Vatican soon rule against Medjugorje?
No one knows. John Paul II favored Medjugorje. No one knows exactly where Pope Benedict stands.
The only certainty is that controversy -- and confusion -- will continue until Rome, which now has full control, actually rules on the matter, at which time we will not only report it in full but strictly adhere to it.
Read it here...
His pilgrimmage will go forth. However, I do believe that he is sincere in saying that he will adhere to the decision of the Pope. It's unfortunate that this controversy has continued for so many years. Many faithful Catholics who are sincere in their faith will be shaken if this apparition is condemned. On the other hand, the Church cannot continue to permit the cause of Medjugorje to advance if the visionaries treat it as a cash cow, indicating demonic presence, and the Franciscans continue in their disobedience, also indicating demonic presence.
This is always the danger of promoting an unapproved apparition. It lingers in even the best of circumstances. Satan, after all, is a master of deception, hoping to discourage souls away from God through his diabolical techniques. If this apparition is found to be a deception, may God grant that those who have promoted it will be obedient to the Church and will not waver in their faith as a result of this deceit.